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Czech dumplings (knedliky)

  • j
  • Jane Friedman Sep 7, 2001 01:17 PM

Does anyone know of a Czech restaurant in NYC, or just a place that serves Czech dumplings?

Thanks,
Jane

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  1. b
    Bob Martinez

    You can find Czech dumplings at the Bohemian Hall and Zlata Praha, both in Astoria. Zlata Praha is more upscale but Bohemian Hall has a wonderful outside beer garden. I was there last night and my friend had the goulash and dumplings which he greatly enjoyed.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      There is also a new Czech/Slovak restaurant in the same neighborhood, the Koliba (it's on 3111 23rd Ave
      Long Island City, NY 11105, (718) 626-0430.) Incidentally, it's run by the ex-wife of the owner of Zlata Praha... gourmet it's not, but I'd say a cut above the ole Z.P.

      Someone had better start making svestkove knedliky in one of these places (sweet plum dumplings...) 'Tis the season for them, and you can even find the oval plums (prunes, svestky) quite easily nowadays. One of my all-time Czech food favorites... but alas, am too lazy to make them myself.

      1. re: Katerina

        Any chance these Czech restaurants serve burcak, too (Czech young wine)? (See my post from a few days ago -I figured knedliky fans would know burcak!)
        Thanks, Kirsten

        1. re: Kirsten
          f
          Frank Language

          This is where cultures collide; although I'm half-Czech and have no fond memories of warm plum dumplings, my half-Ukrainian friend Marc reminisces fondly about the warm plum dumplings his Ukrainian grandmother used to make.

          What, by the way, is the difference between knedliky and pirogen?

          1. re: Frank Language
            p
            Peter B. Wolf

            "Knedliky" or "Knoedel" in German, means dumplings, and are always shaped round, made of any product (potatoes, dough or meat or fish, even vegetables), whereas "Pirogy's" or "Piroggen" are shaped like ravioli or "pocket" shape, and are mainly made of a type of flour dough and filled.

            1. re: Peter B. Wolf

              Yes, the shape IS the main difference - although the side-dish-style knedlik is usually made in the shape of a long oval, then sliced. I also suspect that the Ukrainian plum "dumplings" are filled not with fresh plums (as ours are) but with some sort of plum jam or preserves, perhaps the very dark plum jam known as "povidla" in Czech, "Powidl" in Austria, and "lekvar" in Slovakia and Hungary. We have these ravioli-shaped sweet plum-jam "pirogi" too, but they are called "tasticky" and are usually topped with ground sweetened poppy seeds...

              1. re: Katerina

                Thanks for the interesting information.

                The plum dumplings at the restaurant at the Ukranian National Home (2nd Ave, btw. 8th and 9th Streets in the East Village) are made with FRESH plums and are just slightly sweet. (I went there because Jen Kalb recommended it) I assume that they are what is considered Ukrainian-style because it's a kind of patriotic place. But hey, you never know...

                Btw, I am curious about the knedlik dough for the plum variety. I know it includes potatoes or potato flour and (surely) eggs. But there must be a fat in there too, in addition to the butter on the plate. (The perfect companion, btw. A couple of times I began to think I was eating a lobster dinner because the melted butter flavor was so pronounced.). Do you know what it is? Butter, lard (which I usually avoid) or something else... Thanks.

                1. re: epicure-us

                  The UNH plum dumplings are basically the same as the Czech knedlicky my old roommate made in the autumn. she was of czech. jewish heritage. But that was 25 yrs ago, so my memory may be failing.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Here is a recipe for these dumplings given to me by my friend Milena Jelinek.

                    Czech Fruit Dumplings - Makes 12 dumplings

                    8 oz small curd cottage cheese, sieved
                    1 T butter, melted
                    1 T sugar
                    3/4 c flour
                    1 egg
                    2-6 T matzo meal
                    1/2 tsp salt

                    Mix these ingredients together to make a soft, but rollable dough, using matzo meal as required. Flour hands and roll out on a floured board. Cut into 12 pieces.

                    Fruit: strawberries, plums, apricots, small peaches, .... Fruits with stones should be pitted: a bit of sugar may be used to replace the pits.

                    Carefully wrap each piece of fruit with a piece of oastry. Simmer in salted water: 8 minutes for strawberries, a bit longer for larger fruit.

                    Serve immediately accompanied by farmer's cheese, melted butter and sugar to individual taste.

          2. re: Kirsten

            Sorry, Kristen, I know of no place in NYC that would serve burcak, and doubt that anyone will go to the trouble of bringing it here. It's a very seasonal thing and I don't think it travels well.

            It's just one of the few things that you have to *be there* to taste... which isn't such a bad thing, all in all...